The DS-2019 is the “certificate of eligibility” for J-1 status. All Exchange Visitors must have this document in order to receive a J-1 visa. J-1 degree-seeking students receive the DS-2019 from the Office of Admissions with their admission letter or shortly thereafter. All other J-1 Exchange Visitors are issued DS-2019s by the Office of International Services at the sponsoring academic department’s request.
Change of Status Note: OIS does not process or support a change of status applications. If an applicant is already in the US on another non-immigrant status other than J-1, they must exit the US, visit the US Embassy, obtain a J-1 visa, and re-enter the US on a J-1 status.
OIS Processing Time: 10 business days (incomplete applications with missing items can take up to 1 month)
New applications: OIS requires Departments to select a start date two months from the date the application is submitted to OIS. This allows for adequate processing time with OIS (2-3 weeks), shipping the DS-2019 abroad, obtaining an appointment at the US Embassy (3-4 weeks), receiving the J-1 visa (1 week), and travel to Los Angeles.
Transfer applications: OIS requires Departments to select a start date at least one month from the date the application is submitted to OIS.
DS-2019 Maximum Duration Allotted: The maximum duration allotted for an initial DS-2019 application is 2 years. Extensions are granted based on the exchange visitors category and can be submitted 1-3 months prior to the DS-2019 end date.
Application Requirements (Initial & Transfer)
- NEW (7/15/21): Internal Requisition for $250 (New & Transfer requests) submitted via Workday. Business Purpose section of the system should identify Campus, Request Description: Name of Exchange Visitor, REQ: XXXXXX (i.e. UPC, New DS-2019 Request: Tommy Trojan, REQ: XXXXXX or HSC, Transfer DS-2019 Request: Tommy Trojan, REQ: XXXXXX) The ISP Name for the OIS is ISP-SP-059 Student Affairs – Office of International Services
- DS-2019 Request Form
- Copy of Passport for Exchange Visitor & dependents
- Copy of the Invitation letter
- Proof of Funding for Exchange Visitor & dependents
- Transfers only: Copy of DS-2019 for scholar and their dependents from current institution
- The Department Facilitator submits typed Application to OIS
- Email all documents in a single email attachment to J1exchg@usc.edu
- Please ensure that all required documents are submitted at the time of application. Incomplete application packets will not be processed.
- NEW (7/15/21): Subject Line of email should identify Campus, Request Description: Name of Exchange Visitor, REQ: XXXXXX (i.e. UPC, New DS-2019 Request: Tommy Trojan, REQ: XXXXXX or HSC, Transfer DS-2019 Request: Tommy Trojan, REQ: XXXXXX)
- The Department Facilitator indicated on the application will be notified regarding missing application items and when the DS-2019 is available for pick-up. Processing time is 10 business days but may take longer for incomplete applications.
- Department Contacts and the Exchange Visitor will receive notification when the DS-2019 has been processed. This email will include mailing instructions for the Exchange Visitor to receive their DS-2019, also known as the “Certificate of Eligibility”. OIS will include a handout called “Information for J-1 Student/Scholars” with the DS-2019. Exchange Visitors are encouraged to review the J-1 Pre-Departure webpages.
- The Exchange Visitor may request the SEVIS ID number on the DS-2019 to schedule a visa appointment at the U.S. Embassy. The SEVIS ID number is located on the top right corner of the DS-2019 (starts with N00…) and can be emailed to the Exchange Visitor. Only the SEVIS number can be sent to the Exchange Visitor, OIS and academic departments are not permitted to send a scanned copy of the DS-2019 by email.
Additional Instructions for Transferring into USC
J-1 Exchange Visitors are eligible to transfer their SEVIS record to USC from another institution in the US. When Exchange Visitors transfer to USC, their length of stay does not re-start. Time spent at previous institution must be calculated into total program duration allotted.
- J-1 Exchange Visitors who wish to transfer to USC must speak with a USC academic department.
- The academic department will submit a NEW DS-2019 Request Form
- (see instructions above) to OIS that indicates transfer to USC.
- All three parties must agree on the transfer release date in SEVIS/ start date at USC (OIS, USC sponsoring academic department and current institution).
- The SEVIS Release date selected should be your first day of employment at USC.
- There should be no interruption in employment between your former institution and USC.
- You are not permitted to take a vacation in between your transfer.
- Do not travel outside of the US in between your transfer.
- The release date is very important, as you cannot be paid by USC until you have been released. At the same time, once you have been released, you are no longer eligible to receive funding from the previous institution.
- OIS will schedule a virtual appointment directly with the Exchange Visitor to complete the transfer on their first day of employment (ie: SEVIS release date). After the virtual appointment the Exchange Visitor will receive DS-2019 mailing instructions once the document is processed.
- During this 30-minute meeting OIS will complete your transfer, check-in, and issue you a new USC DS-2019. (Please remember to bring your check-in documents with you rather than submit to your department. If you are unable to meet with an OIS advisor to complete your transfer to USC you may lose your immigration status.